Saturday, March 22, 2014

Joakim Soria named Rangers' closer

The Texas Rangers have named Joakim Soria as the team's closer, per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Manager Ron Washington says (via T.R. Sullivan of that Soria won the job due to "[h]is consistency and his … experience in closing down ballgames."

Before missing 2012 (Tommy John surgery), Soria notched 160 saves with the Royals from 2007 to 2011. In his five seasons with the Royals, Soria had a 2.40 ERA, 1.043 WHIP and struck out 341 batters in 315.1 innings pitched.

In addition to Soria being named closer, Alexi Ogando will be the set-up man and Tanner Scheppers has earned a spot in the rotation.

On the other hand, Neftali Feliz is "competing for a spot" in the Rangers' bullpen.

So far this spring, Soria has yet to allow an earned run in 7.0 innings and has allowed just three hits and no walks while striking out five batters. Meanwhile, Feliz has a 4.50 ERA and opponents are hitting .324 against him this spring.